2021 ECCT EU-Taiwan Healthcare Forum

27 April, 2021

The 2021 ECCT EU-Taiwan Healthcare Forum brought together experts from Europe and Taiwan to discuss solutions for today’s most urgent healthcare challenges. The forum was organised by the ECCT, with the support of the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) and the National Development Council (NDC) acting as an advisor. Read the full event report here.

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Under the theme “Sustainable Healthcare through Public Private Partnership”, medical experts from the public and private sector in Europe and Taiwan shared ideas for sustainable and cost-effective healthcare, using AI and other technologies to reduce the disease burden and improve health outcomes, the future vaccination ecosystem, and how to tackle Taiwan’s ageing population and low birth rate.

The event began with opening remarks by guests of honour Vice President Lai Ching-te, Guillermo Martinez, Deputy Head of the European Economic and Trade Office, and ECCT Chairman H Henry Chang. This was followed by presentations in four sessions and a lunch that featured a keynote speech by Dr Chen Shih-Chung, Minister of Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) and a panel discussion between speakers from the morning session that was moderated by former Vice President Dr Chen Chien-jen, who is currently a Distinguished Professor at Academic Sinica. The event was concluded with remarks by Dr Yu Chien-hwa, Deputy Minister of the NDC. Presentations by speakers from Europe were pre-recorded and shown at the event while speakers from Taiwan participated in person.

In his opening remarks Vice President Lai called upon Taiwan and European countries to deepen their partnerships and create more business opportunities, as they seek to gradually resume economic activities and reopen their borders. In particular, he highlighted supply chains and the production of vaccines as potential areas of cooperation.

In his remarks, ECCT Chairman Henry Chang said that the pandemic had provided some valuable lessons and produced some remarkable scientific developments. This included the development of extremely effective vaccines and treatments in record time. However, he noted that the pandemic has also exposed weaknesses in national healthcare systems, governments, and global institutions. In addition, there is a risk that preoccupation with the pandemic will divert focus from other urgent healthcare-related issues, particularly Taiwan’s rapidly-ageing population, along with which comes the rise of non-communicable diseases.

In his keynote presentation during lunch MOHW Minister Chen shared some of Taiwan’s efforts to contain the pandemic.

He noted how Taiwan’s response had been informed by its experience with SARS in 2002-2003, which had led to adjustments in preparedness, training and response. Taiwan was ready to respond when the pandemic struck and has been successful thanks to proper resource allocation, open and transparent information, timely border control measures, smart community prevention and control measures, advanced medical technology and the good etiquette of citizens. 

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